30 August 2006

Road trip photos

Here I disseminate the travel photos BEFORE the trip rather than after.

I have to drive to Austin for a half week for work and back here. I have to pay my expenses and get reimbursed, but tho the innovation of flying and renting wheels there, which most of civilization favors, is economically comparable I enjoy seeing the country. Also, looking at a lot of pre WW2 Western art in places like Indianapolis, Tulsa, and Fort Worth vaguely relates to what I'm supposed to be doing.

My previous jaunt to Texas involved researching food stops along the way ahead of time but on the way I learned that it is best to hit a special place once a day and self-cater the other two meals, because of sitting in a car and the portions involved. I generally like to make painstaking plans and ignore them.

Mon 11 Sept

At supper hoping the Hare Krishnaists won’t smell the Chili Dog on my breath from lunch, or possibly stuffed cabbage instead. I used to be a vegetarian but the South and Mexico ruined this for a while. Museums in Pennsylvania all closed on Monday, hence scenic route.

Tue 12

Joseph Mallard William

I feel under no obligation to eat the chili spaghetti but it may happen. If I can hold out 'til Terre Haute there's always Gerhardt's Bierstube.

Wed 13

Stare at the Beckmanns as long as I want, maybe seeing the rest of the collections, maybe not. Saw the New York retrospective a few years back but you can’t look at his work briefly in a crowd; I can’t.

Will see how South Grand compares to Washington Street Philly for Vietnamese.

Thurs 14

Cowboys and Indians in Tulsa.

Stockyards closed Thursday in OK City so I may settle for a salad.

Fri 15

My Favorite Caravaggio

Sat 16-Wed 20

Chekhov’s dinner set, veggies.

Thurs 21

Twombly gallery, plus Rothko Chapel and the Menil Surrealist collection.

Dinner/breakfast? ..in that Mecca of indigenous American cuisine, Beaumont, TX. San Francisco, what’s that? (never been)

Sat 23-Mon 25

Borrowing a condo on the St Augustine estuary..

Wed 26

Get out of the car, stare at this:

then arrive back here.

I may change this post as the trip changes.


Jessica Smith said...

wait, you're DRIVING to TX? what's that, like 30 hours?

Bonnie said...

Ian, you're the consummate road trip planner! You're making me envious and sorry I can't join you. At least you'll enjoy your kimchi in peace this time....

Ian Keenan said...

JS, perhaps I really want to be talked out of this and to fly, but I like planning this stuff. The way there is broken into four successive days of 7-8 hours driving. An eight hour day is three units of 2-3 hr drives since I have to stop after that time. Back gets cut in half by the free beach condo layover. I've done this before but less efficiently.

Bon, thanks for envying. All kim chi wants is to make your sweaters stink.

One thing I learned from that trip is to pick out at most an hour or two of scenic driving a day, not trying to catch it all, then get back on the Eisenhower highways and step on it, as the returns clearly diminish after a certain amount of hairpin turns.

Jessica Smith said...

augh... i love driving, planning road trips too, but that is really a LOT of driving. maybe you should take bonnie so you have another possible driver. i guess sometimes insomnia comes in handy, eh?

Ian Keenan said...

Well, no road trip is complete without Bonnie but she can’t come.

I did Creel, Chihuahua, MX, to Jersey in eight days before but that was slowed by insomnia of my second-to-last year of drinking. I should sleep better this time with my sleep-inducing regimen you’re well aware of; been sleeping very well lately.

In Greenville, SC, after a week of driving, I got an hour or two and woke up realizing I wouldn’t go back to sleep, so I decided to hit the road at 3am and make it to Durham, check in, catch a nap, go out and then get some more sleep.

So I went to Durham, checked in, took the nap and then woke up thinking I had slept until morning. I turned on the TV and thought that the Chris Matthews show that said 8:00pm was a rebroadcast. I checked out, got in the car, perused the drive-thru menu at Bojangles, decided none of their breakfast offerings appealed to me and drove away (missing a useful intervention ‘we’re not serving breakfast now’) to Route 85 North.

I started to be bothered by the fact that the sun wasn’t coming up. I chalked it off to a total eclipse, but after a while the theory arose that it was night. I turned around and explained the situation to the hotel staff who gave me the key back, and had an enjoyable evening in Durham.

Have you ever wanted to micromanage the sunrise or sunset? Like, think the sun’s not going to come up this time, and wish you could operate it yourself? Happened to me once on the beach.

andy gricevich said...

The Menil, and especially the Twombly building, is reason enough to drive rather than fly. The hugeness of the Twomblies (one of my favorite plural nouns) isn't the same w/o negotiating the vast cement waste that is outer Houston and arriving in the grassy, mellow neighborhood of the museums.
The Menil has the best collection of surrealist paintings I've seen, and Cy's building is close to my idea of heaven (my idea of heaven includes the idea that there's abstract art that still makes some people fly into a rage; read the guest book once you're through).

The St. Louis museum is lovely; I grew up around there, so I have a sentimental attachment to it... but Forest Park is generally gorgeous. If you have an extra couple of hours, and like climbing on towering, complicated constructions of old shoe factory materials, visit the City Museum of St. Louis, which may be the best playground ever created.

In any case, hope it goes swimmingly!

Ian Keenan said...

Yes, I suppose I’ll have to unroll the bottoms of my trousers and play in the City Museum.

I have seen the Menil complex once but the first couple of visits are just warm-ups for the proper use of the Chapel.

The best Surrealist collection is supposedly the Edward James holdings which are not publicly shown so I’ve never seen them, which is bats, tho I can vouch that his Las Pozas is the best artist's house in the hemisphere. Second, well, everyone just go into the MacArthur Foundation, put your feet up on the desk and say you need to go to the Pompidou post-haste, with a side-trip to Rotterdam. I haven’t seen any of the German collections.

Ian Keenan said...

Speaking of rage I was staring at the CT chalkboard squiggles at the Roaratorio show in Phl and a middle aged women actually accosted me with ‘You cuall this a painting?! It’s wrubbish!’ and I didn’t have the heart to tell her what he gets paid for those. The sublime adolescent rebellion, that series. Creeley was talking once about how the museum’s custodial staff shared his adoration for Twombly and were discussing spacial concepts with each other with the gestural use of mops.

david raphael israel said...

rather late in comment I guess, as you're evidently now on road. About the Caravaggio -- believe or not, I've an Italian friend (a choreographer) who made a pilgrimage to Fort Worth to study The Cardsharps. She used the painting's motif for a ballet she created for the company in Firenze (with music by an Italian minimalist).

happy trails,

Ian Keenan said...

She was a choreographer or a set designer? What was the name of the ballet?

I spent a lot of time in front of it a couple of years ago. This time 'Ian Did Dallas' on the way down, because of the new Nascher Sculpture Center and I hadn't seen the Dallas MA (really a wonderful place; I didn't know what to expect).. hopefully I will go to Fort Worth in November.